German journalist defended over ‘Nazis out’ Twitter controversy

German journalist posted an anti-Nazi slogan.  The post earned her vitriol and death threats from far-right users.

Deutsche Welle 1.7.2019

Prominent German lawmakers and journalists have posted messages of support for a journalist who was virulently criticized for posting “Nazis out” (“Nazis raus”) on her personal Twitter account.

“What @nicolediekmann is experiencing right now, as a woman, as a journalist, as a democrat, affects us all,” wrote the Greens’ parliamentary leader, Katrin Göring-Eckardt.

The phrase — a play on the neo-Nazi phrase “Foreigners Out” — is a well-known anti-fascist slogan in Germany. Nicole Diekmann, a journalist at public broadcaster ZDF, received hundreds of comments and thousands of retweets after she posted it on New Year’s Day.

Read more: German Green Party chief Robert Habeck quits Twitter after data hack

While many comments were supportive, others lashed out at her for using the phrase and writing, “Everyone who doesn’t vote for the Green Party” in a sarcastic reply to one user who asked her: “Who is a Nazi?” Some of the posts implicitly called for Diekmann’s murder.

The controversy intensified on Monday after the Berliner Zeitung newspaper published a commentary denouncing Diekmann’s critics, leading many German publications and politicians from the Greens, Social Democrats (SPD) and Left Party to publish posts with the hashtag “#NazisRaus” (Nazis Out).